Democratic National Committee Deputy Chair Keith Ellison attended a private dinner hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2013, along with the head of the black nationalist group Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.
First reported by The Wall Street Journal, Ellison, the Democratic congressman from Minnesota, also visited with Farrakhan in 2015.
Ellison attended the 2013 dinner with two other members of the Congressional Black Caucus—Reps. Andre Carson, D-Ind., and Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y. Rouhani invited Muslim leaders from around the U.S. to dinner after addressing the United Nations General Assembly.
The Nation of Islam website confirmed the attendance of “the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan” to the dinner on Sept. 23, 2013 across the street from the U.N. headquarters in New York City. FinalCall.com, the Nation of Islam’s publication, confirmed Ellison’s attendance with an article, and photos of Ellison and Farrakhan at the tables.
“After the guests were hosted at a dinner, the Iranian president entered and engaged in warm discussion with guests, including Democratic congressmen Greg Meeks of New York, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is a Muslim,” Final Call wrote on Oct. 2, 2013.
Iran has been listed by the U.S. government as a “state sponsor of terrorism” since 1984.
But the dinner was not the first time Ellison was associated with Farrakhan.
Ellison attended Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995, and even publicly defended Farrakhan – who has repeatedly made anti-semitic remarks, and has called Jews “satanic” – according to a report by the Daily Caller.
Ellison has attempted to distance himself from Farrakhan, especially during his run for DNC chair in 2016, writing an op-ed for The Washington Post, painting his relationship with Farrakhan as limited to the 1995 march.
But Farrakhan slammed Ellison, posting a video to Facebook saying that Ellison and Carson visited him in 2015.
Neither the DNC nor Ellison’s office responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
Former White House press secretary, now Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer slammed the media for not covering the latest Ellison-Farrakhan development.
“Once again, no feeding frenzy by the media. Don’t let anyone tell you the press is neutral. They’re not. Their silence is deafening. Ellison Attended Private Dinner With Iranian President and Louis Farrakhan in 2013 via @freebeacon,” Fleischer tweeted Monday.
The Congressional Black Caucus also has been tied to Farrakhan in recent months – especially with the surfacing of a photo taken in 2005, with then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. smiling alongside him. A Final Call photographer, according to the Daily Caller, said he kept the photo hidden for 13 years at the request of the CBC in order to protect Obama’s political career.
Just last week, Democratic Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois defended Farrakhan as an “outstanding human being.”
Farrakhan’s past extreme comments include praise for Adolf Hitler as a “very great man,” blaming Jews for the 9/11 attacks, and saying white people “deserve to die.”
“I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate and he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people,” Davis told the Daily Caller last week, and noted that “it wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary” for him to meet with Farrakhan.